Indoor Air Pollution Is ‘Worse Than New Delhi.’ How Does Your Home Stack Up?
It's time to make some changes.
When you hear the words “air pollution,” what image springs to mind? Do you think of trucks spewing exhaust on the highway, or a factory emitting god-knows-what into the atmosphere? One thing you probably don’t associate with air pollution is the air in your own house or apartment. But given the staggering levels of indoor air pollution found in most homes, maybe you should.
A recent study conducted at the University of Texas, Austin, found that the indoor air pollution in a home where a Thanksgiving meal had just been prepared was worse than that of air samples from New Delhi. To put this into perspective, the World Health Organization says India’s capital has air quality that’s worse than any other major city on Earth. And indoor air quality reports put out by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA came to a similar conclusion about the sorry state of the indoor air we breathe.
Considering most people spend around 90 percent of their lives indoors, indoor air pollution may have serious health implications. Luckily, instead of waiting to see if these potential health problems materialize, there are steps that can be taken to asses the air quality in your home and make the necessary changes.
For example, a company called Prism Analytical Technologies has developed consumer testing kits that provide a detailed analysis of indoor air pollution levels in your home. Sold under the name Home Air Check, the tests allow consumers the ability to utilize the leading consultative air testing laboratory in the United States. It’s like inviting a team of highly trained analytical Chemists into your home to check your air quality.
Each test comes complete with an air sample collector, instructions, and a per-paid shipping label for easy return. Not only that, data from each test is synthesized in Prism’s state of the art AIHA accredited lab for accurate results. This information is then reported and e-mailed to you within five business days of its arrival at the lab. Additionally, you will receive a document on how to deal with the indoor air pollution levels of your home based on these results. And if you have any questions, comments or concerns, Prism provides both e-mail and phone support to help you find the answers you’re looking for.
Test options include:
The Volatile Organic Compound Test measures the level of VOCs and active growing mold in your home to give you an accurate reading of your home’s indoor air pollution levels. VOCs are chemicals that are emitted as gases from solids or liquids which easily evaporate into the air at room temperature. Concentrations of these chemicals can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. Additionally, this test measures Total Mold Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). When mold is in its active growth phase, it releases MVOCs that can’t be detected by the human nose, but can be detected by this test.
Home Air Check’s Formaldehyde Test measures levels of toxic formaldehyde in your home. Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly used in the manufacture of building materials and numerous household products. At room temperature, formaldehyde vaporizes into the air, potentially causing serious health problems. Since formaldehyde is present in so many building materials and household products, every home should be tested for the presence of this toxic chemical. This is especially true of new or newly remodeled homes.
If you’re looking to cover all your bases, the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Formaldehyde Test combo test is your best option. Not only does it measure and report the total levels of VOCs, but also measures actively growing mold and toxic formaldehyde lingering in the air. It’s a convenient and fairly affordable way to find out if the air you and your family are breathing is safe.
Air Filtration For Indoor Air Pollution
Depending on the results of your test, you may need to take action to improve the air quality in your home. While it’s important to do your own research based on the specific results of your test, the following filter option is a good place to start.
The Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA SPA-780N can filter up to 815 sq. ft. It features a BioGS HEPA filtration system with six different stages of purification and deodorization. It easily traps and reduces offensive odors from pets, cigarettes, mildew, and countless other sources.
While it’s common knowledge pollutants permeate the air around us, how can you know you’re safe unless you’ve tested your living space. Conducting any of these tests will allow you to take action if needed, and to sleep soundly knowing you’ve done everything in your power to breathe easy.
Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.